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PHOTO GALLERY: Migratory animals and birds face a new battle for survival

Eifion Rees

26th October, 2010

Some of nature's most majestic creatures are migratory, but their future in a changing world is far from certain, as a stunning new book of photographs makes clear

'Wild animals in their innumerable forms are an irreplaceable part of the Earth's natural system which must be conserved for the good of mankind.' These words are contained within the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

And yet despite this groundbreaking international treaty, ratified in Bonn in 1979 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, and so vital to protecting some of the world's most vulnerable insects, fish, birds and mammals, the dangers facing them are increasing as populations decline.

Overfishing and encroachment from a burgeoning human population, industrial agriculture and rampant industrialisation, manmade climate change and a warming world - this book of photographs documents the threats and challenges to species such as the Eurasian black vulture, the bottlenosed dolphin, the scimitar-horned oryx and loggerhead turtle, among many others.

But there are success stories too. In 2005, for example, CMS signatories ratified the 'Kyoto of the Great Apes' - the Kinshasa Declaration on the Conservation of Great Apes - binding the governments of 10 'range states' to conserving populations of all gorilla species within their borders.

Migratory species recognise no national boundaries; perhaps it's fitting that the key to their protection and the restoration of their habitats lies in our ability to move beyond them too.

Eifion Rees is the Ecologist's acting Green Living Editor

Survival: Saving endangered migratory species by Stanley Johnson and Robert Vagg is published by Stacey International (£29.95). For a special Ecologist discount of £5, click here and enter offer code Ecosur at the checkout. Online orders also receive a further 15 per cent discount

 

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